Monday January 25, 2016

Is grief really cheapened by social media?

French illustrator Jean Jullien's two-toned eyes were among the many David Bowie tributes that made the rounds online following the cultural giant's death.

French illustrator Jean Jullien's two-toned eyes were among the many David Bowie tributes that made the rounds online following the cultural giant's death. (Jean Jullien/Twitter)

Listen 15:35

Favourite quotes on Facebook. Tiny tributes on Twitter. Iconic images on Instagram. After a month of celebrity deaths, fans have flooded social media with messages of mourning. 

One U.K. journalist took on the "Bowie blubberers" as being "deeply insincere" — but journalist Megan Garber doesn't see it that way. She argues that "any gesture of empathy is fundamentally a good thing".

Garber joins guest host Tom Power to discuss the nuances of grief expressed online, the historical roots of communal mourning, and why social media tributes may be bolstering for the culture at large.

WEB EXTRA | Here's Megan  Garber's article  Enter the Grief Police. Plus,  Garber twice referenced  The Long Goodbye by  Meghan  O'Rourke. Here's the  GoodReads summary. And an excerpt, published in the New Yorker in 2011.